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Cape Town safari options

Game Parks and Wildlife Reserves Cape Town

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Big Five Cape Town safaris are becoming increasingly popular. They’re a great option if you don’t want to venture too far from the city. And with increasing interest in wildlife safaris, there are more and more on offer for you!

cape town lion safari

Been on safari near Cape Town?

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This video was taken at Aquila - you will find more details below!

Were you hoping to find a Big 5 National Park in Cape Town? I'm sorry to have to disappoint you - there's no Kruger Park Africa equivalent nearby!

The nearest National Park featuring all Big Five is Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth, some 800km distant. It’s an hour's flight away or an enjoyable drive up the Garden Route.

Maybe a combination tour is an option for you? Fly into Cape Town and see the city, drive up and enjoy the Garden Route and then visit Addo before flying home direct from Port Elizabeth.

If the Eastern Cape isn’t part of your plan, there are a number of private game reserves near Cape Town that may cater to your requirements.

Big Five Cape Town game reserves -- closest to furthest

Aquila Game Reserve is the smallest of the private game reserves and the closest to Cape Town. They are pretty organised with shuttles that collect from city hotels for day safaris and are the only park that offers a day safari from Cape Town.

They also cater for overnight safaris and fly in safaris from Cape Town. I’d recommend them as the best family safari near Cape Town.

Inverdoorn is just a little farther that Aquila, and offers the possibility of walking with the giraffes on the reserve, as well as taking game drives

They have a family cottage which makes it a good child-friendly option

The video below is shot by an Inverdoorn visitor.

Garden Route Safaris

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve near Montague is about 2 ½ hours’ drive from Cape Town, en route to Oudtshoorn. It is the largest of these private reserves and is surrounded by spectacular Fold Mountains. It is home to a pride of white lions, not to mention all the other game! You can game watch from open vehicles or join your guide on foot.

There’s an added bonus – they have a luxurious spa to help soothe away your stresses...

The Garden Route Game Lodge is about 3 ½ hours’ drive, en route to Knysna. Again one of the smaller reserves, in my opinion they offer outstanding value for money. If you’re looking for a Big Five budget safari, they might fit your bill.

Botlierskop Private Game Reserve -- have you heard about the elephant back safaris near Cape Town? This is the place! They are about 4 hours drive from Cape Town, just beyond Mossel Bay, again en route to Knysna. That makes them the closest reserve to shark cage diving and the Garden Route beaches!

Wildlife Safari on a much LESSER budget

If you’re looking for a Cape Buffalo safari, you can do a day trip to Solole Game Reserve in Cape Town for next to nothing.

Cape Town also has its own small hippo reserve at Rondevlei .

Then of course there are quaggas, wildebeest and various ‘bokkies’ (buck) on the slopes of Devil’s Peak in the Table Mountain National Park .

cape town safari photo

Cape town safari - walking with giraffes
Photo courtesy of Belinda Green

You may find the following related pages helpful:
Addo National Park near Port Elizabeth
Other Eastern Cape game reserves
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Aquila Day Safari from Cape Town

Head to the Aquila Game Reserve on this easy day trip from Cape Town to spot giraffes, lions, leopards, zebras - you name it! The Aquila Game Reserve is the closest private game reserve to Cape Town, only a 90-minute drive away.
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